Lebanon explosion: DePaul graduate, Chicago man relieved family in Beirut mostly untouched by blast

CHICAGO (WLS) -- After video of a monstrous explosion in Beirut began spreading across the globe, one Chicago resident worried about his family.

"I was just trying to keep calling everyone and keep texting everyone." Rami Ghannam said.

Most of his family still lives in Beirut. The DePaul graduate spent the day connecting with his family and was relieved to learn they are all alive.

The aftermath of the blast is devastating. Thousands of people are injured, and dozens are dead, with bodies buried in the rubble.

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"It's very hard when you're living abroad, and you're seeing things from the outside," Ghannam said.

One of his relatives shared a video of his damaged storefront. Fortunately it was spared from the destruction near the blast zone.

Ghannam knows the recovery process for Lebanon will be a painful one.

"Any kind of medical help would probably be appreciated there. I did get a lot of messages about blood needed, doctors needed ... equipment needed," he said.

Tuesday's blast flattened much of the city's port, damaging buildings across the capital and sending a mushroom cloud into the sky.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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